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Exercise for the Risk Averse: choose to be active!

Exercise for the Risk Averse: choose to be active!

images-2We have all heard about that uncle that didn’t smoke or drink, and went to bed early, and died of a heart attack while going for his morning run, right??!! Why would we even bother?!!

Well, there’s some truth to that fear, as your risk of injury and other negative health events certainly increases somewhat WHILE you are exercising. Think about it, your car is much more likely to rattle, overheat, or have a tire blow out while driving at high speeds, than while it’s parked in your garage, right?! A wise colleague of mine once said at a presentation on the matter:

I have never seen anyone get injured while standing at the front of a shop while window-shopping!

and I have to agree, neither have I. And the more extreme the exercise, the greater the chance of a negative outcome. Take Mountaineering for example, which is 50-100 x more risky than your regular structured exercise, with a 1 in 400 chance of dying in any given year!!

BUT, here is the catch: Doing nothing is 20x more risky than moutaineering!!

It is  very clear that being sedentary and sitting for prolonged periods of time is extremely dangerous for us. So much so, that when compared to the rightly criticised smoking, which takes 11mins off your life expectancy per cigarette that you smoke; one hour of sitting watching TV takes 22 mins off your life!

Sitting for 10 hours a day is equivalent to being like an average smoker (20 a day). Both of which lose 1.5 years for every 10 years of the habit.

So how do we reverse this increasing level of risk? The clear answer is to obviously move more! Make sure that you aren’t sitting for an hour without having gotten up. In addition good health (FESS) behaviours reduce the risk of premature death by 65-84%

One other thing to watch is stress. Those that report being “Much more stressed than usual” are at a similar level of risk as those that smoke 20 cigarettes a day!! So, how can you combat this? We know that hobby activities reduce risk by 27%; that relaxation exercises reduce risk by 23%; and that simply ‘enjoying’ life reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 38% in men and 11% in women

Ok, time for me to get up and do a few squats!

The Golfer’s worst companion: Lower Back Pain

The Golfer’s worst companion: Lower Back Pain

Golf is one of the most popular pastimes in Australia, and we  see a large number of recreational golfers as clients at iNform. One of the greatest things about this sport is that it allows for a broad range of participants from the very young to the very senior, and from active to  not so active.

Despite it’s reputation for being an activity of relatively benign physical demand, Golf can place significant amounts of stress on the body, and injury rates can be  high among even  ‘casual’ of players. This article is the first of a series discussing the most common golfing injuries, and strategies on how to prevent them.

In this piece, we will take a quick look at low back pain in the golfing community.

In a number of clinical studies, low back pain has been reported to be the most common injury amongst golfers (as high as 25% of all injuries in the sport). The news is not all grim however; as there are simple strategies you can employ today to assist in avoiding golf related back pain and they may very well improve your game!

The swing is an explosive movement that takes the spine through a large range of motion, so it is imperative that all golfers ensure they are well prepared for such movements each time they play a round if they aim to prevent back pain.

The first strategy you should take heed of is to ensure you are using an efficient swing technique. Make the valuable investment of taking a couple lessons from your club pro to iron out any biomechanical problems with your swing. This will enable your body to cope with the forces involved in the swing.

The second strategy is to ALWAYS warm-up prior to playing a round. Most golfers get straight out of their car and head to tee-off without employing any measures to prepare their body for movement. A few simple mobility exercises will go a long way here. Speak with your PT or Exercise Physiologist for some ideas.

I’ve included one example (pictured) that our golfing clients at iNform have found very helpful in preparing them on the course, and for keeping their spinal mobility in great shape. Try the Thoracic Rotation exercise below before your next round and see how you feel!

tx 1 tx 2

For further advice on improving your Golfing performance and reducing your injury potential contact iNform Health & Fitness on (08) 8431 2111 or at info@informhealth.com

Have you got a baseline??

Have you got a baseline??

baselineI hope I haven’t got any musos falsely excited based on the heading… but if I have, then you might as well just tune in (ah, see what I did there…ha…ha…ahhh….ok…I’ll get on with it…).

As we near the final development and exciting launch of our MovementScreen, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to people about the initial ‘evaluations’ they go through when starting exercise. This is something I believe in incredibly strongly, as a very important undertaking to ensure safety and success of an exercise program. As a business owner I’m also very interested in those initial evaluation and planning stages of any project, as they are so critical to the success of the project. Interestingly however, when it comes to business projects, I get excited and jump head first into it.

If the entrepreneurial spirit were a disease, I would have been diagnosed as being in its terminal stages! The issue with this, is that often I end up walking into roadblocks and diversions, that, if I had spent more time in the planning stages exploring, I’m sure I would have been more successful, with a lot fewer bruises! I would have been a lot happier at re-evaluation stages.

A wise friend of mine once said to me as I excitedly asked when we are going to implement a project: Max, a good project devotes a third of its time to planning! Wow, the patience required for this! Needless to say, this project delivered very good outcomes for the relevant association because we went through that process.

So if this Project Planning 101 lesson is obvious to you (add I’m painstakingly learning it myself), then let me encourage you that, by looking at it from my professional perspective, this also applied to your health and exercise endeavours:

  • Make sure that you plan what you want to do and achieve
  • very importantly, have someone help you identify barriers to your success. these could include past injuries, movement limitations, lack of specific knowledge, etc.
  • implement these things into some initial testing/evaluations, that will help you objectively measure your success!

These evaluations could include an understanding of your current body composition – rather than just what the scales tell you; or a movement score; or a measure of pain; or an objective fitness test. All of these can help you plan and guide your health journey.

Good luck!

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